United States History
United States History AP

For grade 11
(1 credit)

In this course, which is the second part of a two-year study of U.S. history that begins in Grade 8, students study the history of the United States since Reconstruction to the present. Historical content focuses on the political, economic, and social events and issues related to industrialization and urbanization, major wars, domestic and foreign policies of the Cold War and post-Cold War eras, and reform movements including civil rights. Students examine the impact of geographic factors on major events and analyze causes and effects of the Great Depression. Students examine the impact of constitutional issues on American society, evaluate the dynamic relationship of the three branches of the federal government, and analyze efforts to expand the democratic process. Students describe the relationship between the arts and the times during which they were created. Students analyze the impact of technological innovations on the American labor movement. Students use critical-thinking skills to explain and apply different methods that historians use to interpret the past, including points of view and historical context.

To support the teaching of the essential knowledge and skills, the use of a variety of rich primary and secondary source material such
as biographies and autobiographies; landmark cases of the U.S. Supreme Court; novels; speeches, letters, and diaries; and poetry, songs, and artworks is encouraged. Selections may include a biography of Dwight Eisenhower, Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, and Martin Luther King's letter from the Birmingham City Jail. Motivating resources are also available from museums, historical sites, presidential libraries, and local and state preservation societies.

The eight strands of the essential knowledge and skills for social studies are intended to be integrated for instructional purposes with the history and geography strands establishing a sense of time and a sense of place. Skills listed in the geography and social studies skills strands in subsection (c) of this section should be incorporated into the teaching of all essential knowledge and skills for social studies. A greater depth of understanding of complex content material can be attained when integrated social studies content from the various disciplines and critical-thinking skills are taught together. 

Throughout social studies in Kindergarten-Grade 12, students build a foundation in history; geography; economics; government; citizenship; culture; science, technology, and society; and social studies skills. The content, as appropriate for the grade level or course, enables students to understand the importance of patriotism, function in a free enterprise society, and appreciate the basic democratic values of our state and nation as referenced in the Texas Education Code, §28.002(h).

The student is expected to:

  • understand traditional historical points of reference in U.S. history from 1877 to the present
  • understand the political, economic, and social changes in the United States from 1877 to 1898
  • understand the emergence of the United States as a world power between 1898 and 1920
  • understand the effects of reform and third party movements on American society
  • understand significant individuals, events, and issues of the 1920s
  • understand the impact of significant national and international decisions and conflicts from World War II and the Cold War to the present on the United States
  • understand the impact of the American civil rights movement
  • use geographic tools to collect, analyze, and interpret data
  • understand the impact of geographic factors on major events
  • understand the effects of migration and immigration on American society
  • understand the relationship between population growth and modernization on the physical environment
  • understand domestic and foreign issues related to U.S. economic growth from the 1870s to 1920
  • understand significant economic developments between World War I and World War II
  • understand the economic effects of World War II, the Cold War, and increased worldwide competition on contemporary society
  • understand changes in the role of government over time
  • understand the the changing relationships among the three branches of the federal government
  • understand the efforts to expand the democratic process
  • understand the relationship between the arts and times during which they are created
  • understand how people from various groups, including racial, ethnic, and religious groups, adapt to life in the United States and contribute to our national identity
  • understand the impact of science and technology on the economic development of the United States
  • understand the influence of scientific discoveries and technological innovations on daily life in the United States
  • apply critical-thinking skills to organize and use information acquired from a variety of sources including electronic technology
  • communicate in written, oral, and visual forms
  • use problem-solving and decision-making skills, working independently and with others, in a variety of settings

Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 19, Part II
Chapter §113.32
Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills for United States
History Studies Since Reconstruction
Subchapter C. High School

To view U.S. History Curriculum, click here.

To view U.S. History AP Curriculum,
click here.

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